Nicolas Roudier was born in 1994 in Besançon, France. As the son of a pianoforte player, he grew up in an early music environment, surrounded with period instruments. He began modern horn at age 4 with Walter Bellagamba. In 2007, he won first prize at the Artistic Competition of Epinal, and then studied with Pierre Moragues (former solo horn at Paris’ Opera) from 2009. In 2012, Nicolas became a student of Phil Myers (former principal horn of New York Philharmonic) in Lausanne’s HEMU, Switzerland, where he completed a Bachelors degree in 2015 and a Masters degree in 2018. He then turned to historical horns : in 2020 he graduated with a second Master’s in Early Music, and in 2021 with the Artist’s Certificate of Music at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with Teunis van der Zwart.
Nicolas had the chance to play with many orchestras and ensembles (both modern and historical), such as the Haydn Philharmonie, Freiburger Barockorchester, The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Apollo Ensemble, Armonia Atenea, the Dutch National Opera. He is now frequently playing with Das Neue Mannheimer Orchester. He played under the baton of Bertrand de Billy, Paul Meyer, Sir Roger Norrington, Hidemi Suzuki and many others. He had the opportunity to work and play with great horn players such as Radek Baborak, Hervé Joulain, Thomas Müller, Claude Maury… Apart from his playing, Nicolas also teaches privately since 2017 and discovered himself a passion for transmitting his knowledge and love for his instrument. Learn more about the teaching here.
Nicolas is fascinated by historical horns, their history, diversity and impact on historically informed performance. His collection of instruments brings together horns from the late XVIIIth century to the present, and he plays them all accordingly with the context of the repertoire played. Nicolas also works in collaboration with the association Ad Libitum and its International Pianoforte Center to match horns and pianofortes together, like in his first CD entitled A Horn Story. In this recording Nicolas Roudier partners with pianofortist Anders Muskens to play pieces of music from different periods of time on many different instruments. Some of these pieces are rare, unknown or never recorded, as well as the instruments they are played on. Learn more about the Muskens-Roudier Duo here.
Nicolas is also a researcher. Following his passion for early horns and willing to expand borders, he realised in November 2019 the very first recording of a complete piece on an original horn from Mozart’s time (Anton Kerner 1760) for the purposes of his Master thesis, for which the Royal Conservatory awards him with a special prize. He is currently doing more research about early horn, its manufacture, its repertoire and diversity of instruments, and gave lectures at the REMA’s 2020 Early Music Summit, and Historic Brass Society Symposium in 2021. He is also compiling an inventory of a private collection of rare original scores from the second half of the XVIIIth century to mid-XIXth century, which lead to the creation of Artescripta, his own edition of facsimiles. Nicolas is the co-organizer of Les Concerts du Temps Retrouvé, a serie of private concerts in Avignon.
He was supported in his researches and musical production by the Adriana Jacoba Fondation, the Countess of Bylandt Fondation and the Dutch Performing Arts Fund in Netherlands.